Israel detects first case of monkeypox virus
US president Joe Biden said that recent cases of monkeypox identified in Europe and the United States are something ‘to be concerned about’
Israeli authorities said they have detected the country’s first case of monkeypox in a man who returned from abroad.
Officials also said they are looking into other suspected cases.
Israel’s Health Ministry said the man is in a Tel Aviv hospital in a good condition. It called on anyone returning from abroad with fever and lesions to see a doctor.
Sharon Alroy-Preis, the head of public health services at the ministry, told Israeli Army Radio that medical teams are investigating other suspected monkeypox cases.
Israel’s case appeared to be the first identified in the Middle East.
The World Health Organisation has identified about 80 cases globally, and roughly 50 more suspected cases.
Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa.
But Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the US, Sweden and Canada have all reported infections, mostly in young men who had not previously travelled to Africa.
France, Germany, Belgium and Australia have also identified cases.
The virus originates in primates and other wild animals and causes fever, body aches, chills and fatigue in most patients.
People with severe cases can develop a rash and lesions on the face, hands and other parts of the body.
Meanwhile, a senior doctor has warned that monkeypox is spreading through community transmission in the UK with more cases being detected daily.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed 20 cases of the disease in the UK.
Dr Susan Hopkins, a chief medical adviser for UKHSA, said updated figures for the weekend will be released on Monday as she warned of more cases “on a daily basis”.
Speaking to BBC One’s Morning Show, Dr Hopkins said: “We will be releasing updated numbers tomorrow – over-the-weekend figures.
Asked if people will need to get vaccinated for the infection, she said: “There is no direct vaccine for monkeypox but we are using a form of smallpox vaccine – a third-generation, smallpox vaccine that’s safe in individuals who are contacts of cases.
“So, we’re not using it in the general population.
“We’re using it in individuals who we believe are at high risk of developing symptoms and using it early, particularly within four or five days of the case developing symptoms.
“For contacts, (this) reduces your risk of developing disease, so that’s how we’re focusing our vaccination efforts at this point.”
It comes as US president Joe Biden said that recent cases of monkeypox which have been identified in Europe and the United States are something “to be concerned about”.
In his first public comments on the disease, Mr Biden added: “It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential.”
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